Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Glorious Boy, by Aimee Liu {ends 5/27}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

From her first day at the white house, Naila sensed she had been to this place before. Or near here. She knew the dusty sweet smell of this hill, that jungle of brush across the gully, the steep angle of the slope below the road. Or, she thought she did.

The memory was dim and distant: her father taking her by the hand. She’s been younger than Ty Babu. The yellow-walled compound where her family lived then lay at the base of this hill, on the water. Her father had led her through the jungle up up up what had seemed a mountain. Never tell anyone. Our secret place.

The chance to test her memory came several days after their arrival, while Mem and Ty both were napping and everyone else had gone out. Naila slipped out of the house and across the gully, then skirted a thicket of leafy brambles and turned to get her bearings.

The banyans form their own citadel. Aerial roots had dangled like Shiva’s arms, while the base roots snaked into the earth. She pressed on. Forward. This way. That. The grass rose above her head. She was well out of sight of the white house when she spotted the grove. Dozens of trunks, each as big around as five men. They pressed so close against each other that it seemed there was no way in, but her father had shown her the hidden passage, behind one trunk and between two others. When she located the swirling root with the knot like a raised fist, she felt him urging her on.


Sometimes history doesn’t have happy endings. The same goes for historical fiction. While happy endings are usually preferred, this book offered a real feeling story with beautiful closure, even when it wasn’t happy.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Glorious Boy, by Aimee Liu {ends 5/27}
Glorious Boy is a tale of war and devotion, longing and loss, and the power of love to prevail. Set in India's remote Andaman Islands before and during WWII, the story revolves around a mysteriously mute 4-year-old who vanishes on the eve of Japanese Occupation. Little Ty's parents, Shep and Claire, will go to any lengths to rescue him, but neither is prepared for the brutal and soul-changing odyssey that awaits them.

Shep Durant and Claire get married because they met as Shep was planning his research trip to India’s Andaman Islands, and Claire wanted to be an ethnographer and researcher too. After their brief courtship in the U.S., everything we know about them is in the primitive islands. While it didn’t appear to be planned, they’re also soon caring for their infant, far from the civilization they’re used to. Ty Babu, their baby, doesn’t know of anything besides their home in Port Blair, and his ayah Naila. Naila is a bit young to care for the baby by U.S. standards, but her parents are the Durant’s house servants, and she and Ty Babu develop a strong bond very quickly.

While the book starts with the Durant family and their servants all happily under the same roof, before long they’re each trying to make their way alone. War changing everything on their island, and they end up going in separate directions to survive. The characters each evolve in their attempts to make it alone, while they still try to get back to each other against all odds.

The prose and descriptions of the island and its people were beautiful. The Andaman Islands of India sound truly magnificent, and finding out how the natives lived deep in the jungle was fascinating. Overall, I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a homebody who loves to take adventures through books. Find more of her reading adventures at SweetlyBSquared.com.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Beautiful Boy!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, May 27th, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will be contacted via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Glorious Boy, by Aimee Liu

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